House markup of ObamaCare repeal bill up in the air

House markup of ObamaCare repeal bill up in the air
© Getty

The timing of a House committee session to work on ObamaCare replacement legislation is in flux as Republicans seek to flesh out the document. 

Though no date was ever formally scheduled, the House Energy and Commerce Committee had been eyeing March 1 for a markup of repeal-and-replace legislation. Lobbyists and aides now say a markup is not likely to happen until at least the week of March 6. 

Several lobbyists said Republicans on the committee sent some elements of a healthcare bill to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) but did not receive the cost estimates that they had expected.  

Those same sources stressed that Republicans have not sent a final plan to the CBO for budget scoring, because they are still working through a variety of issues that need to be addressed in the legislative text. 

A spokesman for Energy and Commerce Committee Republicans declined to comment. 

The clock is ticking for Republicans as they seek to pass repeal legislation out of the House.

Speaker Paul RyanPaul RyanOvernight Finance: Inside Trump's first budget | 66 programs on the chopping block | Hearing highlights border tax divide | Labor to implement investment adviser rule Hearing highlights GOP divide over border tax Progressive Caucus elects Wisconsin lawmaker as new leader MORE (R-Wis.) has said that he wants to move ObamaCare legislation by the end of the “first quarter,” which would mean the end of March. In order to do that, House committees will need to begin markups soon.  

Republicans are still divided on key issues, including what do with ObamaCare’s expansion of Medicaid. Lawmakers from states that expanded the program are wary of losing extra federal funds and having their constituents lose coverage.   

Some lawmakers also have concerns with the idea of including tax credits in a replacement plan, worrying they will become a new entitlement. Complicating matters further, some Republicans are skeptical of paying for the GOP plan by taxing the most generous employer-sponsored health plans.      

Former Speaker John BoehnerJohn BoehnerLobbying World Jordan won't run for Oversight gavel Oklahoma rep. launches long-shot bid for Oversight chair MORE (R-Ohio) said Thursday that he thinks “most of the framework” of ObamaCare will end up remaining, and congressional Republicans will instead “fix” the law.

“[Republicans are] going to fix Obamacare — I shouldn’t call it repeal-and-replace, because it’s not going to happen,” he said.